Friday, 11 May 2007

Egypt...Where Worlds Collide

I'm staying in an area of Egypt, Maadi, largely populated by Europeans, Americans, Canadians, Aussies and Kiwis.
Some are here to make a buck, some are here to help. Some of them resist the local culture, some of them dive head first into it.

There are places here strictly devoted to certain groups of people, you have to 'be someone' or know someone to get in.
They are walled, they are guarded and they are exclusively, exclusive.
Yet down the street from all this money, refugees from Sudan, Nigeria, and everywhere else in Africa fight to get the basics.
Food, water, education does not come easy if you do not have money, if you do not have white skin.

The church here in Maadi is working for change, it's working for equality.

My time here has been largely spent in the schools for refugees.
These schools are dark buildings, where the water drips from the taps and the walls struggle to stay upright.
The books are old, tattered and outdated and the standard level of education is low.
The children struggle to learn, but the world seems to over power them.

You can't teach hungry children.

Maadi Community Church has recogized these problems and is fighting for and with these schools to bring them up and over the National bar.

My time has been spent catologing books as so we know which textbooks, work books and story books each school has.
But most importantly, a large amount of my time has been spent profiling children, assessing there level of comprehension, and the care that they receive.

Many of the children enter the schools and are thrust into a grade level that best suits their age grouping, not their education level, therefore these children begin a needless fight to stay a float in a curriculum that is already over there heads.

There is no thought of the long term effects these children will have on the world once they have grown and matured.
With the proper education these kids will thrive and accel in the world of tomorrow.
They will be able to support families of their own, hold jobs in a competitive market and advance in life.
Without this education, they will be thrust into the world, blind, alone and scared.

I have met seasoned teachers who have come to Cairo to help and found it overwhelming.
I have met members of relief organizations who don't know where to start.

In my opinion, it starts with the children and yes, it is overwhelming. But we can't leave it like we found it. It's our job to fight on behalf of those who can not fight for themselves.

Sometimes when you venture behind the walls of the clubs, these refugees become a topic of conversation, sometimes they are forgotten about.
Yet you walk not even 10 minutes down the road and you bump into the schools, the children, the struggle and you can't help but wonder why.

Cairo is an interesting place and I know God is showing me much through my time here.

Grace, Peace and Blessings,


Jack said...

Hi Son,thanks for the phone call, it was nice to hear your voice. As I read your Blog it's easy to tell you've been blessed with the same writing ability as your Mom.
Thanks for the update! I know you can't possibly post daily,but we do check it daily.
I know you must get frustrated because the scope of the job seems so overwhelming and you may feel your making no difference. You are Son, one day at a time, one bite at a time. Proud of you, Love you! You and those around you are in my prayers.

jasonplunkett said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jasonplunkett said...

Love the posts, keep up the good work and don't get discouraged, You're in our prayers often.
Also, love the hair, we'll send you some gel
Jason And Faith

kyletye said...

Hey Brent you're doing a wonderful thing over there in Egypt. Keep up this work because you are making a difference! It's amazing though what we take for granted in terms of education and other aspects. I never knew you were such a great writer too. We're missing you over here, but atleast with all of the technology nowadays you can keep us updated. Keep on bringing the updates and we'll be thinking of you!